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RE: Issue #832 Clear link text, etc. (action item)

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2004 16:37:07 +1000
Message-ID: <16618.18579.870283.749162@jdc.local>
To: Web Content Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

John M Slatin writes:
 > From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
 > Behalf Of Yvette P. Hoitink
 > [requiring noun phrases instead of verb phrases in link text]
 > I don't think we can require noun phrases instead of verb phrases.
 > Sometimes the action is what makes the distinction between two links.
 > For example, consider these links:
 > "View item A"
 > "Edit item A"
 > "Delete item A"
 > If you ban verb phrases, what should the noun phrases be for these
 > links? Constructs like "deletion of item A" only make the text more
 > complex and _less_ accessible.
 > John:
 > Great point! Thanks, Yvette.

which takes us back to my comment at last week's meeting that no one
has refined this into a testable proposal. I am also concerned that
the emphasis is on links, not on user interface options more
generally. Clearly, whatever the success criteria are, they apply to
all sorts of user interface components, not just links. My underlying
concern here is that the more the guidelines are written with HTML
implicitly in mind, the less applicable they will be to other
technologies, exactly the problem that prompted the development of
WCAG 2.0 in the first place.

Thus I suggest stepping back and considering what the desirable
outcome is, in this case, perhaps that text characterizing the
function to be performed, or the information to be retrieved, by every
user interface action is programmatically associated with the user
interface control. This would apply to all formats where there is a
direct correlation between the content itself and the kind of
interface that te user experiences, i.e., to those situations in which
the author is designing the user interface.

Then there are non-normative suggestions such as:

The text associated with the user interface control should be as brief
as possible.

It should be possible to understand when read out of context.

I don't think these last two are testable.

Does a proposal along these lines seem more appropriate? Are there
other alternatives?
Received on Tuesday, 6 July 2004 02:37:12 UTC

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